- The best thing you can do for your body (and your baby) when you catch a cold is to get plenty of rest. Your body can fight infections better when you're not rushing about so taking some time out to look after yourself and recover properly definitely pays.
- Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables will not only help stave off any infections but will also help you to recover full fitness when you do catch a bug. If you don't feel much like eating try to consume five or six small meals throughout the day starting with plain food such as wholemeal toast; freshly squeezed juices and homemade soups are also packed with vitamins and make great nutrient rich snacks.
- It's more important than ever to stay hydrated when you catch a cold so aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water, sugar free squash or herbal tea a day; hot honey and lemon is also great for calming a sore throat.
- If a blocked nose is stopping you sleeping you could try using an extra pillow to raise your head or, if you find this uncomfortable, raising the top end of your mattress by putting a pillow underneath to create a gentler incline.
- To help alleviate congested sinuses you could try creating a mini-steamer by placing a few drops of tea tree, peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil in a bowl with very hot water, placing a towel over your head and spending a few minutes breathing in the refreshing steam. You could also try draping a warm flannel over your sinus area (adding a couple of drops of essential oil if you wish) to help relieve the feeling of pressure here
- If you have a sore throat gargling salt water can help. Dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt in some warm water and swill this mixture around your mouth and throat for a few minutes taking care not to swallow!
- Avoid smoking (duh) or smoky environments as these irritate the respiratory tract further, exacerbating any cold symptoms
- Buy some Vitamin D supplements to strengthen your immune system (unless it is summer, then the best thing for you is to get outdoors and get some sun, without any carcinogenic sunscreens on), 1,000 IU is good for daily intake to avoid catching a cold, but to treat one you need at least 2,000 IU daily. Some doctors and scientists who research vitamin D will argue that even that is not enough, but chances are - if you have a cold or the flu you have vitamin D deficiency. Just make sure the supplement is cholecalciferol not ergocalciferol (a synthetic vitamin D that will do more harm than good).
- If all of the above is not enough relief for you, try Boiron Oscillococcinum Natural Flu Relief, works for colds just as well. Chances are, your doctor would squirm at any natural remedy, but you could ask for her/his opinion. As far as I understand, the ingredient is harmless: "Homeocoksinum (Anas barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum) has no side effects and will not interact with any medication. Like all other homeopathic medicines, it is safe for children, adults (including pregnant women) and the elderly." The number one flu medicine in France, it has been used for 65 years and is regularly recommended by physicians there. It is the only medicine for the flu with no side effects. Does not have any drug interactions.
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DISCLAIMER: HEALTH ARTICLES ARE NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR HEALTH PRACTITIONER WITH MEDICAL QUESTIONS!